Phones to be monitored

06 Feb, 2008 09:00 PM
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TELSTRA will monitor the call qualities of its mobile phones as it irons out problems with the Next-G network.

Roving teams in the bush will be used to detect and tally dropouts during calls on Next-G handsets across the nation.

Telstra also plans to contact customers experiencing a high number of call failures to pinpoint and resolve the issues.

Telstra Country Wide group managing director Geoff Booth said the monitoring program would enable the company to identify and help the small number of customers who may experience higher drop out rates.

The program is the latest in a string of measures the telco has unveiled in its efforts to convince customers on the CDMA network that the replacement Next-G system is up to scratch.

Telstra announced last week that it would establish a customer hotline to help Next-G users and deploy 50 mobile staff into the regions.

The initiatives follow January’s announcement by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that Telstra would have to delay the CDMA network’s closure to give customers more time and support during the switch over.

CDMA’s shutdown has been extended to April 28.

Landmark real estate representative Ric Mincherton said he was not impressed with Telstra’s service.

“When Next-G came out I was sold a handset that Telstra indicated would be satisfactory with no aerial,” Mr Mincherton said.

“Later I discovered it was almost useless in that it only works near or in major towns.

“But when I went to purchase an aerial for my phone, that was not supposed to need one, I discover that particular model did not have an aerial.”

The map of Australia that Telstra used to show customers where a phone would work was later found to be inaccurate.

Mr Mincherton has since been given a new phone which had a car kit.

This handset was nearly as good as his old CDMA phone but he still has complaints with Telstra.

“My mobile only rings a few times before it switches over to voicemail, which gives me no chance to answer it,” Mr Mincherton said.

Even when messages did arrive, Mr Mincherton had significant problems.

“I will be listening to my messages and halfway through it will cut out so I have to ring ‘101’ again,” Mr Mincherton said.

“Or while I am on the phone listening another will come through.

“It is just a scam to make us ring a number so we have to pay more to the company.”

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